Agneau aux Haricots Blancs


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      3 hr

Appears in

The French Market

The French Market

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2005

  • About

This is a dish of strong, hearty flavours, in which the red wine, garlic, rosemary and chillies lift the mild flavour of the butter beans for a warm and delicious combination. Serve with a simple green leaf salad to follow. My great-grandmother used to make her version of this dish every year at Easter; Tm glad to see that in Gascony, too, the tradition continues...


  • 250 g dried butter or haricot beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.8 kg leg of lamb (cut the shank off)
  • 3 red onions, chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves crushed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 X 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml stock
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1-2 chillies, diced
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


    Drain the butter beans and place in a pan of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, removing any froth that comes to the surface.

    Heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

    Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the lamb and cook on each side for 15 minutes until golden, then remove. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the red wine, tomatoes, stock, rosemary, chilli, seasoning and cooked beans. Mix well and return the leg of lamb to the pot. Immerse it in the mixture, then place in the oven to cook for 1½ hours, checking occasionally.